Queen Latifah interviewed with Essence about her partnership with Novo Nordisk to reduce the stigma around obesity in a campaign called “It’s Bigger Than Me.” Latifah talked about her own struggles with body image as well as the moment she was told to lose weight for Living Single.
“I remember when I was doing Living Single, the word came down that we needed to lose weight and it was like, what?” she said. “Now mind you, we have the number one show among Black and Latino, Latinx audiences, at the time. And we have a hit show and you’re telling us we need to lose weight…Why are you telling us this? We look like real people. We look like real women. We all look different. And those are the kind of things that come to you that can chip away at your self-esteem. That’s the kind of insensitivity that we’re fighting against right now. That’s the kind of shame planting that can destroy self-esteem.”
“…[I]t was bothersome and it was disheartening, disappointing, and it made me angry and it made me just wan to fight against that,” she continued. “I felt like we were representing women in our community and they needed to see that kind of representation. That did bother me. But of course, it didn’t make a difference. I didn’t change anything as a result of it. If anything, I’m just the rebel. Don’t tell me what to do, because I’m going to do the opposite. But it did make me cognizant.”
You can learn more about “It’s Bigger Than Me” at itsbiggerthan.com.